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English Literature

Digitized Archives & Primary Sources

What is a Primary Source?

Primary sources are produced by participants or direct observers of an issue, event or time period.  These sources may be recorded during the event or later on by a participant reflecting upon the event. In some cases, it will be difficult to obtain the original source, so you may have to rely on copies (photocopies, microfilm, digital copies).

Some examples of primary sources include:

  • Newspapers
  • Speeches
  • Government Documents
  • Legal Documents
  • Public Opinion Polls
  • Personal Materials: letters, diaries, interviews, memoirs, autobiographies, and oral histories
  • Images

Online Historical & Primary Sources

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